Tlaib ‘fearful’ as social spending plan heads to Senate

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said she is “fearful” as the Build Back Better bill moves to the Senate after being passed by the House last week.

In an interview that aired on “Axios on HBO” Sunday evening, Tlaib said she was particularly concerned about what she called “corporate Dems” in the Senate taking control of the package, which includes some $2.2 trillion in new spending on areas including healthcare, education and climate change. 

“I know that they’ve been influenced and guided by folks that don’t have the best interests of the American people in mind, so I’m fearful. I’m fearful that those groups are going to guide this agenda,” she said.

“It’s going to be the people that are gonna continue to profit off of human suffering,” she added, noting that she does not take corporate PAC money or have special interest groups “lining out outside my door.”  

When asked if she was referring to Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), moderate Democrats who have long withheld their support for parts of the plan, Tlaib responded that the opposition was “bipartisan.”

“I can’t just say it’s those two,” she replied.  

“We have corporate Dems,” the lawmaker added. “It’s those two, but I think there are some others.”

“They seem to be leading the fight, but I wouldn’t be surprised if folks are hiding behind them,” she continued. 

Opposition from Manchin and Sinema has already drastically reduced the size of the package, which was originally negotiated as a $3.5 trillion plan. 

The House included in its bill provisions such as paid family leave, which Manchin has publicly opposed. Democrats cannot afford to lose a single vote on the bill, as it needs all 50 senators to pass the package through budget reconciliation. 

The Hill reached out to Manchin and Sinema for comment on Tlaib’s remarks. 

Tlaib is part of the House Progressive Caucus, which for weeks insisted on moving the so-called “BBB bill” before voting for a separate infrastructure package. They eventually relented on that demand after House moderates committed to supporting the slimmed down social spending bill in exchange for progressives passing the infrastructure bill. 

The bill is expected to undergo significant changes as Senate negotiations get underway. Still, Tlaib noted the significance of the plan passing through the House.  

“I represent the third poorest congressional district, so what it means for my residents is that they’re finally going to get what I lovingly call ‘the people’s infrastructure,'” she said.

“We always think about roads and bridges but we never think about what’s inside the homes.”

Tags Build Back Better Joe Manchin Kyrsten Sinema Rashida Tlaib

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